How to Design an Effective Book Cover
Even a great book may never depart from the bookstore if the cover doesn’t capture the reader’s eye. Bottom line, how your book cover looks like is possibly the most critical aspect of the whole book design and marketing process.
Here are a few pointers to be sure you’re on the right track with your book cover mockup:
Check out similar genre book covers.
Visit online and local bookstores and take a look at books in your category. When you go to the area of the store where your book could be someday, what’s the first cover that caught your eye and for what reason? What made the cover stick out from the rest? In the same manner, pay attention to those covers that you thought were the worst. Consider all these questions as you come up with a book cover mockup.
Be smart with colors.
Think of the psychological effect of the colors you intend to use on your cover. If your book deals with meditation, you may not want an orange or red cover as these colors tend to excite the senses instead of relaxing them. Try white or blue in your book cover mockup, and you will find them more soothing and probably more suitable. Again, take a look at other same-genre books as well as the colors they use. How would you like people to feel about your book? What colors make you feel that way?
Position your title and name appropriately.
Unless you’re Stephen King, your name should be printed at the bottom portion of the cover. Your title should instead be on top and as big as your name or bigger if possible. As soon as you have established yourself as an author, you can make your name your cover’s main attraction. In any case, the letters should be easily readable and stand out. Simple fonts in neutral colors are always best, and as you make your book cover mockup, be sure the text doesn’t lose itself in the color behind it.
Use matching art.
Be sure the artwork fits your book’s content and does not change what the book is really about. When she died, Agatha Christie’s murder mystery books had covers with gory pictures, like needles sticking out of someone’s eyes. While the covers were successful in catching attention, that ended there. People generally have an aversion to gruesome images. So don’t be happy just having them take a look – they should want to look deeper.
Make it simple.
Keep the cover from being too busy. Try a distance test. Reduced your book cover mockup to one inch in height – the size it will be on the Internet. If your artwork could not be easily distinguished at that size, it is too complicated. Also have the cover at book size and see how it looks from ten feet away. If the artwork couldn’t be distinguish it that easily, it may not be the right choice.